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Bringing home baby #2 (or 3, or 4…)

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Welcoming another child is an exciting time for the whole family! It also means some changes in the household and the lives of older children. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on making the transition a smoother one for the whole family!

  • Preparing your older child(ren):
    • Explain in advance of the new baby’s arrival what to expect
      • Read books about being a big sibling
      • Be realistic!
        • Explain that new babies require a lot of attention from mom and dad
        • Let them know that babies make a lot of noise and cry to communicate what they need
      • Remind them that while mom and dad will be extra busy with the new baby, they will ALWAYS love and have time for them
    • Get them involved!
      • Allow your older child(ren) to help prepare the house for the new baby
        • Let them choose a “present” for the baby that is just from them
        • Involve them in choosing decorative things for the nursery, baby clothes, toys, etc.
  • Once the new baby arrives:
    • Have each parent set aside time to spend solely with the older child
      • It does not need to be a lot of time, just make sure you are focused on them and remind them how excited you are to hang out with them
    • Consider getting them a special treat or present “from” the baby
    • Be prepared for regression
      • When big life changes happen, older siblings often regress
        • This is almost always temporary and improves with time
  • Bonus tips for grandparents!!
    • Help out your child by making their older child(ren) feel special
      • Take them out to the park, movies, or for a sleepover!
      • Remind them that they are loved and special even though a new baby has arrived
    • Help out with small chores around the house
      • Prepare a meal for the family
      • Help with a load of dishes or laundry

Welcoming home a new little bundle of joy is an exciting transition time for the whole family! As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding preparing older children for a sibling, please contact your pediatrician. Feel free to check out these links from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Tips-for-Grandparents-of-a-Newborn.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Preparing-Your-Family-for-a-New-Baby.aspx

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